15 Jan 2009

bin Laden urges jihad against Israel

12:18 pm on 15 January 2009

Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has called on Muslims to rise in a jihad against the Israeli offensive in Gaza.

In an audio tape issued on Wednesday, he also accused Arab leaders of collusion with Israel.

The death toll in Gaza since Israel began its attack on Hamas on 27 December, has passed 1000. Hamas ended a ceasefire on 19 December.

Israel says it has lost three civilians, hit by rockets or mortars from Gaza, and 10 soldiers.

Ceasefire negotiations continued on Wednesday.

An Israeli envoy will meet Egyptian mediators in Cairo on Thursday after a Hamas delegation concluded talks on an Egyptian truce proposal by repeating their demand that Israel withdraw its troops and lift a long standing blockade on coastal Gaza.